Apple's iPhone 3G S sports chip with 720p HD video capabilities

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
With Apple's new iPhone 3G S hitting store shelves in Europe overnight, the device was thrown within minutes onto the operating table and gutted, revealing a Samsung-branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) featuring a multi-format codec with untapped HD video playback and capture capabilities.



The Orange wireless boutique in Paris, France held a midnight launch of the new Apple handset, allowing the folks at Rapid Repair to be amongst the first in the world to purchase the device at roughly 6:30 p.m. Thursday Eastern time.



Wasting no time, the solutions provider took the iPhone to one of the shop's back rooms, busted out their tool kit, and began tearing the device down with the intent of comparing its internals to the iPhone 3G and identifying some of its more prominent components.



The biggest news to come out of the tear-down thus far is a positive identification of the handset's primary SoC, said to be the Samsung S5PC100, a chip that -- true to previous rumors -- is based on ARM's Cortex A8 reference design running at 600MHz. A brief check of Samsung's website, however, reveals it can run even faster.



"The S5PC100 enables the integration of various functionalities, such as, wireless communication, personal navigation, camera, portable gaming, portable music/video player, mobile TV and PDA into one device," the South Korea-based electronic maker says in a PDF published to its website. "The S5PC100 adopts a 32-bit ARM Cortex A8 RISC microprocessor and a 64/32-bit internal bus architecture, and operates up to 833MHz."



Apple appears to have chosen run the chip, which is rebranded with the following markings, below its maximum clock speed for optimal power consumption. But the additional 233MHz aren't the only capabilities of the S5PC100 that Apple has chosen to forgo in the iPhone 3G S.



Samsung\t339S0073ARM\tK2132C2P0-50-F\t0N1480911\tAPL0298\tN1TVY0Q 0919

An Apple iPhone 3G S torn down and laid out to dry | Source: Rapid Repair.



Samsung also notes that its chip sports a high definition multi format codec enabling higher resolution multimedia functions at low power consumption. Specifically, it states that the S5PC100 "features a built-in, 720p multi format codec (MFC) video Engine which ensures smooth 30fps video encoding and playblack at low power consumption, and supports three types of TV out interface (NTSC/PAL/HDMI)."



A block diagram of the iPhone 3G S's primary SoC | Source: Samsung.



An incomplete component comparison of all three iPhone models and the Palm Pre | Source: Rapid Repair.



Apple has thus far decided not to take advantage of these HD capabilities for video recording, as the iPhone 3G S video camera will only capture clips in VGA-quality. Early reviews of handset were mixed in their assessment of the resulting video quality, with some saying it pales in comparison to that from the popular $229 Flip pocket camcorder, while others called it "quiet decent" and said the quality was "impressively smooth and natural."



An iPhone 3G S with its top case removed | Source: Rapid Repair.



The iPhone 3G S logic board (left) compared to the iPhone 3G logic board (right) | Source: Rapid Repair.



A close-up of the iPhone 3G S logic board | Source: Rapid Repair.



Some of the other components identified by the tear-down include Toshiba NAND flash RAM, an Infineon baseband controller, and a solderless, easily replaceable battery that looks very similar to the one inside the iPhone 3G. Markings on the NAND (1), baseband (2), on-board system memory (3), and battery (4) are as follows:



1) NAND Flash Memory - Toshiba TH58NVG702ELA89\tIA8816 TAIWAN 09209AE

2) Infineon - 36MY1EE\tA9177314\tZ171033

3) System Memory - 337S3754\tCMA\tG0919\t5Y930788

4) APN: 616-0434\tVPN: APPLE-08-003-01(GG)\tLi-ion Polymer Battery: 3.7V 4.51Whr

Additional discoveries are likely to be made throughout the day and upcoming weekend, especially given that iFixit also plans to tear-down an iPhone 3G S shortly.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?
  • Reply 2 of 71
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post


    Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?



    I don't see the actual comment ...
  • Reply 3 of 71
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    I wonder if these under utilized abilities in the 3Gs are awaiting software updates or perhaps are there for future models with updated hardware too?
  • Reply 4 of 71
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...



    It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.



    The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,781member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dfiler View Post


    While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...



    It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.



    The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.



    I think you may be ogling the sim card slot
  • Reply 6 of 71
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post


    Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?



    Welcome!



  • Reply 7 of 71
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dfiler View Post


    While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...



    It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.



    The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.



    I too, am guilty of ogling.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post


    I think you may be ogling the sim card slot



    Oops, you're correct.



    Though, it's not as bad as failing to notice an adam's apple and big feet. Well at least that's one tough ass sim slot. Oh wait, those two sentences shouldn't be put next to each other.
  • Reply 9 of 71
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.



    I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    boogabooga Posts: 1,082member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.



    I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.



    Apple sells component-out cables that plug into the docking port of the iPhones. The iPhone 3G's port can only output 480p. I wonder if the 3GS will output 720p. When travelling, it's really nice to be able to hook my iPod directly up to a hotel TV and watch whatever I have stored. Of course, most hotels still haven't upgraded to HD, so I carry the composite cables which max out at 480i anyway. But soon everyone will have an HDMI input.



    In addition, I can imagine an AppleTV with a dock or wireless connection such that an iPhone can output on any TV and play video games on the television. Any game console worth its salt can play at 720p these days, so maybe...
  • Reply 11 of 71
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    I remember a time when it was completely unheard of to purposely disassemble a new Apple product and post pictures online unless it fell and broke or something.



    Having the proud honor a few years back of being the first to disassemble and take high resolution photos (you could even see the dust!) of Apple's new Mighty Mouse. I caught all sorts of hell from the Mac community, but now it's the norm.



    I got so much hit traffic my site was first on the Google search ranks, Apple had unlimited bandwidth on their poorly thought out Dot Mac accounts at that time, they changed that policy with caps/pricing.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Ok so they looked blurry to me. It is nice to know that the SoC is from Samsung, it has a lot of untapped capability beyound the video capabilities too. I don't expect Apple to leverage all of them either.



    I'm not sure why everybody gets hung up on the video camera anyways. In a nut shell all it does is generates lots of data and wears your flash. Going to 720p would just wear the flash faster. Did anyone expect the video hardware to replace a dedicated video camera?



    Honestly looking at the photos this looks more like a modest revision iPhone rather than an earth shaking new model. It looks like they minimized changes to the boards layout for one. I guess that means more room for future growth.



    Probably the only real disappointment is that the battery didn't increase in size enough. The increased battery run time isn't enough to get me through the day without a recharge.



    Dave
  • Reply 13 of 71
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    This is OT but how do I get my old iPhone to be a touch? I've plugged it into the computer and it still wants to activate it and won't let me do anything after I've unplugged it. I guess I have to remove the SIM card?
  • Reply 14 of 71
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Dude, if they can get some kind of ipod to hdmi + charger connector, this will really turn some heads.



    Think of it: You rent about 3-4 720p movies, then bring it to your friend's house where you plug in an hdmi cable and a wall charger, and you watch them all on a 52" hdtv!



    Really, it's where things are going.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Dude, if they can get some kind of ipod to hdmi + charger connector, this will really turn some heads.



    Think of it: You rent about 3-4 720p movies, then bring it to your friend's house where you plug in an hdmi cable and a wall charger, and you watch them all on a 52" hdtv!



    Really, it's where things are going.



    Better put it on airplane mode! Don't want to interrupt a movie for a text message or phone call
  • Reply 16 of 71
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    When travelling, it's really nice to be able to hook my iPod directly up to a hotel TV and watch whatever I have stored. Of course, most hotels still haven't upgraded to HD, so I carry the composite cables which max out at 480i anyway. But soon everyone will have an HDMI input.



    What hotel chain allows any sort of connection to their TV's?



    Because I haven't found any in the US, if it's low end, the TV is the cheapest POS possible with no connections.



    If it's high end, they have no ports and the only one is for the dedicated pay per view system via a locked cable or something else not easily used.



    Hotels know customers like to hook things up like game machines etc to the hotels TV's and just disconnect/leave cables unplugged, requiring a expensive tech service call to get the TV back on the system.



    So I've found nearly no hotel chain that supports customers hooking things up, rather the hotel system provides games, movies etc.



    But if you care to inform me, I'd be glad to know.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    What hotel chain allows any sort of connection to their TV's?



    Because I haven't found any in the US, if it's low end, the TV is the cheapest POS possible with no connections.



    If it's high end, they have no ports and the only one is for the dedicated pay per view system via a locked cable or something else not easily used.



    Hotels know customers like to hook things up like game machines etc to the hotels TV's and just disconnect/leave cables unplugged, requiring a expensive tech service call to get the TV back on the system.



    So I've found nearly no hotel chain that supports customers hooking things up, rather the hotel system provides games, movies etc.



    But if you care to inform me, I'd be glad to know.



    I actually haven't stayed at a place that *doesn't* allow that in quite a while. I mean, if they are CRTs then , yeah, they don't let you but if that are LCDs you should definitely be able to plug it in - just depends on the hotels upgrade cycle I guess.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    About 500 people waiting in line at Apple Store NYC (da cube) and going in by groups of about 20.



    About 100 waiting in line in San Francisco.



    just came over CNBC...
  • Reply 19 of 71
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    I saw AT&T lines all over Manhattan this morning. Everybody wants one! Hmmmmmm.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post


    Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?



    Yes, I learned about this great honor that is bestowed upon those who finally made their first post on a thread.



    A whole website dedicated just for you!



    http://www.talkshowonmuteISFIRST.com
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